Some Offices at Historic Warfield Theatre Building Could Become Housing

Dec 28, 2022


Big changes could be coming to a historic downtown San Francisco building. 

Local developer Group i has filed a preliminary application to convert five stories of the building that houses the Warfield Theatre into housing, as first reported by the San Francisco Business Times. The conversion would be the first of its kind since the pandemic. 

Office conversion has been billed as a potential solution to the housing woes that plague California cities — even more so for San Francisco, which has seen the lowest return-to-office rate of any major city, coupled with record-high commercial real estate vacancy rates. The building at 988 Market St. is small by downtown standards — around 40,000 square feet — and Group i plans to keep around 15,000 square feet as office space. The remaining square footage will be transformed into a mix of 34 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments throughout the fifth to ninth floors if all goes to plan. Seven of those units will be affordable housing.

The application also lists plans to convert second-floor space into a gym and basement space into a bike room. Nothing about the exterior of the 1922 building will change.